When asked if they are creative, I think most people would say yes.
You might not consider yourself an arty type that goes to the theatre, strums on a guitar, and takes photographs of sunsets, but I can almost guarantee there’s something you love doing that involves a creative process of some kind. You know… that thing that involves your heart, mind and body? That thing that, when you’re done with it, gives you a feeling of real satisfaction or purpose?
I read this wonderful quote on ‘sensitive, creative types’ in one of my favourite blogs, A Leaf in Springtime:
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off…They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” – Pearl S. Buck
I can relate to this.
Sometimes I feel something even stronger than a desire to create. It’s agony if I don’t, actually.
If I deprive myself of creating in the method I most enjoy I feel hungry, desperate, lost.
But my perfectionistic tendencies often stop me from even beginning the process.
I was listening to a song which led into a short talk by Joel Houston today, and it touched on the topic.
Joel is the writer of many of Hillsong’s worship songs, and he talks about the process of writing Heart Like Heaven. He says (at about the 8 minute mark if you want to watch it here) that sometimes, when writing a song, he feels lost for words. But he goes on to say:
“I’m convinced that there’s not any combination of words in any language that could even begin to articulate even a glimmer of how magnificent, or holy, or glorious God is. How sovereign and in control and how perfect… Yet we try to…
“Sometimes I feel like the very best we can bring, even if it’s the greatest song we could ever write, is broken at the end of the day. It’s not perfect. And the coolest thing in the world is that God’s not looking for a perfect song. He’s not looking for perfect people to sing it. In fact, he goes a step further and says that what he requires is our brokenness. Our weakness…”
When it comes to creating things for the glory of God it isn’t perfection we should be seeking. In our weakness and brokenness, God shines. Not that we shouldn’t try to make something beautiful… But the more we strive for perfection, the more it becomes about us and not God. And that will never work.
Lord, help us to create in your strength. Help us to remember that our gifts are from you, to be used for your purposes. Help us to empty ourselves so that we might be filled, and ultimately give the glory and praise back to you in all we do. Shine through us, Lord.